Getting your daily dose of exercise is key to living a happy and healthy life. There are many different activities that you can do to get exercise but some are better than others. When deciding what sort of exercise you want to do regularly, you really have to decide what you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to just stay healthy, are you training to do a triathlon, do you want to build strength, the list goes on.
Typically if you are training for an event or strength training you will already have specific exercises in mind but if you are just trying to stay healthy and happy then a daily walk might be the ideal workout. There are a number of benefits from walking that can be realized almost instantly.
1. Health Benefits
This first one is an obvious one, when you are out for a walk you are getting excercise! Despite not being an extremely strenuous exercise you can still burn between 200 and 600 calories in an hour depending on your height and weight. While weight loss might not be the purpose of your daily exercise this is still generally a good measure of the work you are doing. This daily activity is going to help your heart by giving it a workout as well.
2. Stress Relief
Going for a long walk can be a great way to reduce stress. It provides a literal escape from any issues you may be dealing with and physical exercise is a proven stress reliever. Removing yourself physically from a stressful situation can be a quick and easy way to give you perspective.
3. Clear your mind
With everything going on in the world it is easy to get overwhelmed by life. Anxiety is a constant part of many peoples lives so having a healthy way to calm your mind is critical. Going for a walk is a great way to calm your mind and focus on the task at hand, walking. While that sounds simplistic, once you start walking for the purpose of exercise you will move at a pace quicker than your normal walk and it will absolutely clear your mind of all other things going on aside from taking in your surroundings.
4. See New Places
For most people, they are most familiar with the city they live in as seen from the car window. As most of us have been in lockdown for a few months, walking has become a great pastime for most people. Walking around your city is a great way to discover new parks, paths, areas, and bars and restaurants (even if you may not be allowed to go there at the moment).
5. Fresh Air, Nature
Being in nature and breathing in fresh air is very underrated. Depending on where you live you will have varying degrees of nature in your every day life but whether you live in the heart of a city or out in the country there is typically an easy way to get close to nature while you are out walking. If you are in the city there are typically parks with walking trails and in the country you might only need to go as far as your back yard to experience the great out doors.
6. A New Hobby
Saying walking can be hobby sounds a little weird at first but it is true. You can join a walking or hiking club which would be great opportunity for socialization as well as exercise. Joining a club/organization is absolutely not necessary for you to go on walks though and the fact that walking is low impact means you can enjoy this great pass time for years to come.
7. Free Transportation
Since the invention of walking its primary purpose has been to get places. Using walking as your primary form of transportation, whether it be to work, school, or even the local bar is a great way to achieve all of the above benefits with the added bonus of getting where you are trying to go. Walking to destinations as much as possible is a great way to save money and get places at the same time. Depending on where you live this may not always be an option but it is something to consider.
Walking has many benefits, both physical and mental, that are easy to realize with little effort (compared to most exercises), all you needed is some open space and the motivation to get out and go for a walk!